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Sling Media today announced the retail launch of the new Slingbox SOLO.

The SOLO is a mid-line addition positioned between the Slingbox AV and Slingbox PRO that connects to a standard definition or high definition set top box. It includes standard (4:3) and widescreen (16:9) video support and increased streaming performance (full VGA resolution, up to 8Mbps around the home).

Linksys has announced two Media Center Extenders that are "Coming in November".

The DMS 2100 Media Center Extender and DMA 2200 Media Center Extender with DVD Player are designed to support streamed content from PCs running Windows Vista Premium or Ultimate using Ethernet and draft 802.11n wireless connections.

Satellite TV provider EchoStar Communications announced yesterday that it has agreed to acquire Sling Media, maker of the SlingBox line of remote access media devices.

EchoStar, through its DISH Network, is the third largest pay-TV provider in the United States. The transaction values Sling Media at approximately $380 million and is payable in cash and EchoStar options. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Digitimes today reported that Google will "definitely launch its own-brand handset". Details are still highly speculative, but "sources at Taiwan handset makers" point to High Tech Computer (HTC) as the possible ODM.

The article also says that Google may also try use a "self-developed OS" in the handset.

ooma today announced the launch of general consumer sales of its VoIP system.

ooma systems are being offered at introductory pricing of $399 for each ooma Hub device and $39.95 for each ooma Scout device. The ooma system features unlimited US calling and comes with additional features, including second line and answering machine with no additional monthly fees. In 2008, when the introductory pricing period expires, the ooma Hub device will carry a suggested retail price of $599.

Updated

VoSKY yesterday announced the upcoming release of VoSKY Exchange Pro, a turnkey PBX-to-Skype appliance that enables businesses to enhance communications and reduce telecom costs.

The new appliance comes pre-loaded with Skype and VoSKY's Exchange application that is used to deploy, run and manage Skype-enabled office phones.

According to a DigiTimes report, demand for Skype Wi-Fi phones has been strong and is still growing.

The rise in sales is attributed to Skype's launch of its 'unlimited calls' preferential rate program earlier this year, improved phone functions and lower prices.

The report also said that Linksys ran out of Skype Wi-Fi phones in the US and had to allocate inventory from other markets.

Read the full article here.

Sling Media today announced two new HomePlug 1.0 Turbo compliant powerline adapters.

The SlingLink TURBO 1 Port and SlingLink TURBO 4 Port offer a higher speed connection between the Slingbox and network router "creating a better Slingbox experience for customers". Both products use power cords to connect to power outlets or strips for maximum connection flexibility.

Skype today announced that Wal-Mart is now offering Skype Certified hardware as well as the first pre-paid cards for Skype available in the U.S. in 1,800 of its U.S. stores.

Wal-Mart is the first and currently only retailer in the U.S. to offer Skype’s pre-paid cards. Shoppers can purchase a $20 pre-paid card and redeem it for Skype credit to make inexpensive international calls at rates as low as 2.1 cents per minute. Another pre-paid card is available in stores for a three-month subscription to the Skype Unlimited Calling Plan for just $8.85.

Up to nine different Skype Certified hardware products are available in Wal-Mart stores’ electronics department including headsets, webcams and handsets from manufacturers such as Plantronics, Philips, Logitech.

For more information, go to www.skype.com/walmart.

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